How many times did you have a long to-do list ready and nothing was ticked out ? I know, I do that every single night before I sleep, and only keep adding more to it through out my working hours with the hope of getting things done before I get to bed. I get home by the evening, thinking about what should be done first and about the long list I have, and I end up doing almost none. That’s frustrating! Delaying a lot of things till the weekend, and end up spending it doing them all at once. That cycle is a never-ending one leading to a sequence of disappointments. At the beginning of 2016, just as that of every year, I got a new agenda to keep my tasks and goals in one place in front of my eyes at all times. Every month passed by and I have barely achieved any of what’s on its first page.
On the 1st of September, I started reading a new book , looking for a change or any sort of guidance through my mess. “If you eat a frog first thing in the morning that will probably be the worst thing you do all day,” says Mark Twain. That doesn’t seem yummy at all. That is the quote Brian Tracy wrote his book around. In his book Eat that Frog, the same concept is discussed in depth saying that if you do the tasks you keep procrastinating first, everything else won’t seem that bad. Even if Mark did not mean it that way, Tracy made a quite clear point of it. He also said that if you eat the uglier frog first, then the second one won’t put much taste difference. He stated that the same idea would apply if you had an ugly frog to eat in the morning, but you spent too much time looking at it, the idea of eating it will be harder to swallow. In other words, do the heavier and delayed tasks first, everything else will follow easily. I decided to try that, but most of the time the heavier tasks are the ones that are time consuming and can’t be done during work time. I applied his advice, and tried to do it first, still I had to delay other tasks on my to-do list to the next day because of lack in energy and time.
Again I went deep into the same cycle of procrastinating tasks to the next day, then it hit me that what if i rearrange my to-do list according to the priorities, that seems more convincing. That night, I wrote my to -do list as usual, but this time I renumbered them according to how important it was and when it was due. I had some articles and researches to read and summarize, and since it was a priority on my list , I had them done in the cab, on my break and through out the day as long as I had no patients. I had my stops on my way back home, according to how close the destination was from my house. I got my medications, grocery, my lab results that I was supposed to take two weeks ago in that order. True that on the first day, I had a lot of things done, yet I still had things pending to the next day. However, I could totally say that it was really a productive day, and most of what was on my list was done. Yet because it was being delayed for a while, I had so much left to be done. I wrote a list of things I have been delaying, and again in priority order, and on a different page I had my to-do list for the next day. That helped me get my daily tasks done, and if I had extra time, I would do something from the other list. Distributing them throughout the days of the week, I had all my procrastinated tasks done by the weekend and I had my day off peacefully relaxing.
However, eat that frog wasn’t all about the cutesy of the frog, it is very organized and comprehensible, pretty much inspires you on how to get your things done. A lot of reviews stated that it is the “definitive guide” on that matter. Go get your to-do list for the things you have to do tomorrow only and Eat that Frog !